About Gabriel Vicéns
Acclaimed by Downbeat Magazine as "a thoughtful improviser with a quiet tone who makes every note count," NYC-based guitarist and composer Gabriel Vicéns is also praised by Latin Jazz Network as "an exceptional artist, with a shimmering sense of sonority and the ability to find a keen balance between poetry and intensity." Originally from Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, Vicéns moved to New York City after more than a decade of performing and recording with top groups from the Puerto Rican jazz scene and a four-year Professorship at the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico.
Legendary bassist Eddie Gómez praises Vicéns as "a creative musician that displays a new vision on the guitar." Vicéns music is influenced by many genres, ranging from jazz, rock, classical music, electronic music, and Caribbean folklore. He has studied privately with Fernando Mattina, Paul Bollenback, Ray Anderson, and composers Daria Semegen, Carlos Cabrer, Lois V Vierk, and Marti Epstein.
Vicéns has been featured at venues and festivals such as Puerto Rico Heineken Jazz Fest, SF Jazz Center in San Francisco, Ljubljana Jazz Festival in Slovenia, Uno Jazz San Remo Festival in Italy, and Havana World Music Festival in Cuba. He has worked with artists such as Miguel Zenón, Alex Sipiagin, John Benitez, Paoli Mejias, Luis Perdomo, David Sánchez, Will Vinson, among others. In New York, he has frequently performed at prominent venues such as The Cell Theater, Cornelia Street Cafe, Latea Theater, Fat Cat, The Owl Music Parlor, and Terraza 7, both as a leader of his own groups and as a sideman. In addition, he is co-leader of the free improvisational group No Base Trio, with whom, in 2020, released their critically acclaimed eponymous debut album under the label Setola di Maiale.
Vicéns is also an active painter; he studied at the Art Students League of New York with renowned color field painter Pat Lipsky. In 2018, he was invited to be part of the group exhibition Dislexia Geografica held at The Clemente Soto Vélez: Cultural and Educational Center, featuring a wide range of artists from Latin America. He actively works in the realm of painting along with his music career.
Vicéns holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico, a Master of Music degree from Queens College, and is currently a doctoral candidate at Stony Brook University. He has released two critically acclaimed albums as a leader: Point In Time (2012) and Days (2015), and most recently in January 2021, Vicéns released his third studio album “The Way We Are Created” under the label Inner Circle Music. This new record incorporates compositions influenced by folklore music from Puerto Rico, featuring saxophonist Roman Filiú, pianist Glenn Zaleski, bassist Rick Rosato, drummer E.J. Strickland, and percussionist Victor Pablo. Currently, Vicéns is working on various projects, including his fourth studio album, which will highlight him as a concert music composer, featuring his chamber music works.
"Complex melodies and intricate rhythms inspired by the Puerto Rican music and dance styles bomba and plena showcase his heritage to dazzling effect."
Julian Maynard-Smith, London Jazz News, 2021
"Blessed with strong, original compositions and a high level of performance, its own unique flavour makes it a very enjoyable listen."
Mikes Gates, UK Vibe, 2021
“We are all born to be creative, he says, and The Way We Are Created is a strong argument in favor.”
Mark Sullivan, All About Jazz, 2021
"The meticulously constructed compositions benefit from canny arrangements utilising all the instruments in a perfectly balanced formation of tonality and harmonic colour."
Roger Farbey, Jazz Journal, 2021
"Gabriel Vicéns is an exceptional artist, with a shimmering sense of sonority and the ability to find a keen balance between poetry and intensity"
Raul Da Gama, Latin Jazz Network, 2017
"A thoughtful improviser with a quiet tone who makes every note count"
Scott Yanow, Downbeat Magazine, 2016
“Guitarist Gabriel Vicens and his crew of Puerto Rican all-stars, turn in one compelling performance on his impressive Days.”
Edward Blanco, All About Jazz, 2015
"A rising jazz guitarist... Vicéns has provided a splendid recording that conveys a clear representation of his culture and individuality"
Mark F. Turner, All About Jazz, 2015